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You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.
This movie is part of the collection: Short Format Films
Director: Fred C. Brannon
Production Company: Republic Pictures
Audio/Visual: sound, b&w
Keywords: Action; Serial; Cliffhanger
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
|Movie Files||QuickTime||Ogg Video||512Kb MPEG4||MPEG2|
|Radar Men From the Moon - Chapter 1||
|Image Files||Animated GIF||Thumbnail|
|Radar Men From the Moon - Chapter 1||
Subject: Fun Stuff
When I first downloaded and watched this serial several years ago, snips of memory from Saturday kiddie matinees jolted into consciousness. I had seen some or all of this before. I wish I could remember what I thought as I watched it as a 7 - 10 year old.
This is pure fantasy, and is chock-full of laughs and shake-your-head moments. Probably the most impressive effect comes in the second episode when the moon men melt the side of a hill with their atomic ray gun. The director manages to keep the story straight throughout, and that's pretty impressive, too.
Chapter 10 is a recap episode, but still manages to end in a cliffhanger.
I downloaded the MOV files, except for chapters 6 and 12 where I downloaded MPEG4 files. Audio and video were fine.
Subject: Long live the serial!
Really enjoyed it, really enjoyed watching Clayton Moore (Long Ranger) with those classic good looks and that great radio voice as the bad guy. Bring on more, please.
The reason they never lost their hats was because the hats kept you from seeing that the fighters were stuntmen that only vaguely resembled the actors. The hats had special bands of raw rubber on the inside, which would effectively glue them to the stuntman's head!
Subject: We're moving at many miles per minute
Our hero and villians are just introduced in this episode. It starts with "unexplained explosions" and a witness sees the bad guys getting away.
"Have you got your flying suit?" Of course he does, and the action begins.
The possee drops in at the office of the bad guys on the moon on casual Friday, they're wearing their house coats. Then hang on to your cookies for the fist fight and the explosions. To be continued.
Mike D. B. -
Back in the 60s my sister and I went to the movie theater "on post" (since we were Army brats) every Saturday. Before the actual show, there were differnt neat sequels - westerns, mysteries, but me favorite were the 10-15 minute SF shows. For some four decades I've had these images in my mind but could never name the series. And suddenly, as if time were turned back more than 40 years, here comes Commando Cody!!! Brilliant! So corny and bad, that I absolutely love this! Brought back a lot of memories - how we kids cheared when the good guys finally won, how frightned we were that harm could come to our heros and to earth. Kids, glad I'm still one at heart.
Subject: Captain Cody is doomed!
Intro to this prepostrious serial wastes no time to getting down to business. Someone, or something, is blowing up industries and buildings on Earth! Captain Cody meets up with a chatty government agent (whoÂs great because heÂs curiously slimey all the same) and they both agree that itÂs the Moon men that are responsible! Soon, Cody gets his proof by thwarting some underworld types (the martians were apparently too busy?) from blowing up a troop train! He flies in, yes, with his flying suit and uh, helmet, and saves it just in the nick of time! Soon, Cody and company fly to the moon to meet with the Moon Men (who donÂt think of.. I donÂt know, blasting the ship from the sky?) Negotiations turn sour however and.. well, Cody is DOOMED!
This was GREAT! Had some cheesy special effects (love the rocketship!), the flying effects are done quite well, and there are some continuity problems (like day for night shots). But all in all, quite fun!
Subject: OK! so I am biased..............
I saw these seruals in the early 1950's in the context of the traditional Saturday morning "kiddy show" which was really designed to give parents some time to themselves! Regardless of the "bad" acting and theatrics, they were entertaining and sparked imagination. In many of us, curiosity about science was also kindled. When all this came to earth with the reality of Sputnik, and American public science education began to mature, this science fiction entertainment did not seem as far removed and strange as it once did. I still like these!
Subject: Reply to AlecWest
I'd imagine they were called "Radar Men" for the same reasons Frankenstein's monster was brought to life with electrcity and Godzilla was mutated to be huge by radiation; it was something new and exciting, and with a scientific air.
As for the high bitrates, I applaud them. This is an archive, supposed to preserve these artefacts in the best quality possible for posterity.
People may wish to encode these to other, non-mpeg formats in the future, a higher intial bitrate would mean less loss in that conversion.
That said, I believe the archive allows 4.5GB per movie item, so maybe lower-bitrate mpeg2s(encoded from the original uncompressed source*) could be provided alongside the current ones, although this would be very time consuming.
Public domain status is tricker, as copyright laws have changed many times since, and it may or may not have been renewed. There's a flowchart to determine whether or not a work's copyright has expired, and you can check in the US Copyright Office database for the date of registration/renewal of a given work.
The above only applies to US copyright law. Generally a work expired in the US will be expired in most or all countries, but don't count on it.
Apologies for this not being a review, I do intend to download this series soon.
*assuming the uploader has this.
gentle ben -
Subject: Commando Cody saves the day
I remember watching Commando Cody serials on TV in the 50s. This one seems to have been filmed before the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belt, since CC serials subsequent have a flashing light at the front of the space ship that protects the passengers from its "harmful effects." Radar Men is not as good as Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, but it is better than Ace Drummond and Undersea Kindgom.
It is mysterious to me also why they named it RADAR Men From the Moon. Radar is referred to in chapter 3 though. Krog uses it to track the moon rockets reentry to earth.
You can read my full review of this chapter at my website, Swing the Sickle. I'm only nineteen, so I was not around for the era of serials. After watching this, I have fallen in love with serials. I can't wait to see the rest of the chapters.
No, this chapter was not the best, but it was not boring either. It was fun to watch for the nostalgia factor also. I agree that the size of the MPEG2 is ridiculous. I downloaded the MPEG1 and thought the quality was great except for these random green blocks that appear over the video sporadically.
Subject: Not the first and not the best ... but OK.
At the beginning of each chapter you'll see a screen note saying "introducing a new character - Commando Cody." A new name, perhaps, but not a new character. The original rocketman serial from Republic, "King of the Rocket Men," came out three years earlier. And the rocketman in that serial was named Jeff King. Even a year before "Radar Men From The Moon," Republic Pictures re-edited "King of the Rocket Men" and re-released it as a feature film titled, "Lost Planet Airmen" ... same story without the niggly chapter breaks. And, the same year "Radar Men From The Moon" was released, Republic also released the "Zombies of the Stratosphere" rocketman serial, with Larry Martin (character name) donning the suit.
The first of the three serials seemed the best one of the lot to me. I was especially impressed with the "special effects" of the day that were used to depict an earthquake in New York. "Zombies" was probably the most memorable since it featured the science fiction feature film debut of Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock) playing the Martian zombie, Narab ... with maybe two or three lines in the whole serial.
But, all three serials provide the same level of excitement ... "King" in fighting earthbound evil-doers, "Radar" in fighting future invaders both on Earth and on the Moon, and "Zombies" in fighting Martians bent on blowing the Earth off its orbit with a hydrogen bomb to move Mars into its place. For a kid on a Saturday afternoon with only a little change in his pocket, what more excitement could he ask for?
They may seem campy by today's standards. But they all championed a standard that most people wish for today ... that good always triumphed over evil (and the good guys hardly ever lost their hats during a fist fight, hehe).
Three questions, though ... one for film buffs in the know ... one for the keepers of this archive ... and one for the person who archived this film in MPEG2 format:
1) Why was it titled RADAR Men From The Moon? I don't think the word "radar" appeared in dialogue even once during the serial nor was the science of "radar" ever displayed. Why didn't they call it ATOMIC Men From The Moon ... since their ray guns were atomic?
2) If "Radar Men From The Moon" is now in the public domain, making it downloadable from archive.org, how long will it be before "Zombies Of The Stratosphere" (released 1952 also) and "King Of The Rocket Men" (released in 1949) are available for download here?
3) Why were MPEG2 files encoded at a video bitrate of 7800? Persons wanting to burn this 2 hour, 46 minute, 44 second serial onto a single DVD (and using DVDshrink) were unable to fit it into a single titleset ... and later, save it to a single ISO file, without "shrinking" it twice. Even a bitrate of 7000 would have been overkill. For what it's worth, I burned chapter one to two DVDs ... one at the 7800 bitrate and one at the 3428 bitrate (a bitrate small enough to fit all chapters on one DVD) ... and noticed no significant degradation in picture quality.